The beast is wounded – probably mortally – but it will take an inordinately long time to die and in its prolonged death throes it will devastate whole nations’ economies, living standards and dignity. Circle the date ‘5 July 2015’ in your calendars as the historic moment when the dissolution of the European Union began.
This follows a long-established pattern: once the momentum of a relentlessly expansionary empire such as Brussels is halted, it does not remain stationary – it goes into reverse. When Greece departs from the euro currency, what will happen? Will some other basket-case state be shoe-horned in to replace it? Hardly – not because the madmen in Brussels are not demented enough to try it, but because the German electorate would not stand for it.
So, the Greeks’ referendum decision (kudos, once again, to the highly professional opinion pollsters who were only 22 per cent out in their forecasts this time) means that the contraction of the EU has begun. That is its real, historic significance. That is why screams of anguish are being emitted by the fanatical expansionists in Brussels who, without a twinge of remorse, provoked a bloody war in the Ukraine, in a cack-handed attempt to increase the number of their vassal states.
We should not be surprised by this development. The Soviet Union endured for 69 years; the European Union has so far lasted for 64 years. It is long past the stage of teething troubles; what is now afflicting it is senility. Nigel Farage got it absolutely right when he highlighted the fact that, in the Greek referendum, it was the votes of young people that ended deference to Brussels/Berlin. That has relevance to the forthcoming UK referendum on EU membership.
The received wisdom in Britain at present is that young voters support membership of the EU. It supposedly expresses their ideals of peaceful coexistence among European nations and trendy cosmopolitanism. But the same was once true of Greek youth. The difference is that, thanks to Eurozone membership, Greek youngsters have been exposed to crippling poverty and a 50 per cent unemployment rate.
Only Britain’s unfashionable decision not to adopt the euro – against the dire warnings of all those imposing, authoritative men from the CBI et al. who will soon be issuing similar warnings in the run-up to the referendum that Brexit would mean the end of civilised life – saved us from a similar experience to the Greeks. That is why the profile of British voting patterns is still the reverse of the Greeks, with Eurosceptic views shading gradually from strong among over-55s to weak among under-34s.
In Greece it is now the opposite. Those who voted Yes to Eurodiktat last Sunday were overwhelmingly from the post-War generation that believed there was collective security in supranational institutions. To today’s young people in Greece, unemployed and impoverished, the EU is the cause, not the solution, of their predicament. Blind faith in the EU seems as outdated to them as harbouring similar delusions, pre-War, about the League of Nations.
That is an attitude increasingly engulfing European youth and it will eventually affect British youngsters too. The best way forward for Eurosceptics is to strain every nerve to convert younger voters to this view before polling day in the referendum. Remember the old canard that all UKIP supporters were elderly men in blazers? Apparently last May there were almost four million of them.
In mainland Europe the Eurosceptic profile is increasingly youthful. By itself, the cult of “yoof” is inane, but harnessing youthful idealism and enthusiasm to the cause of recovering our national sovereignty makes solid sense. Farage is right, too, to espouse a positive Eurosceptic agenda: let’s free ourselves to trade with the rest of the world, let’s escape from a cage controlled by elderly men in grey suits, let’s unshackle our economy from the self-interested red tape of Brussels regulation.
Of course, the Eurosceptic youth vote in countries such as Greece and Spain is unfortunately attached to looney-left parties such as Syriza and Podemos, but that is no reason for supposing it cannot mature with the voters themselves, who may be persuaded to ditch Marxist along with Europhile delusions and finally embrace a sensible course.
Youth is by instinct anti-authoritarian and authoritarianism does not come more repellent than the Brussels bureaucracy. Young people see, behind the photocalls, the large cars, the saluting sentries, the pompous jargon and the solemn press conferences, the underlying reality: this is a bunch of buffoons who have created an unworkable project that is collapsing around them and they haven’t a clue what to do. They tried to suppress economic reality by ideological imperative and now the house of cards is crashing down.
Merkel, the overrated hausfrau, Hollande, the socialist spendthrift, self-pitying Juncker, loud-mouth Schulz and all the other clowns are the incompetents who have broken Europe, while flooding it with countless millions of hostile aliens destroying its culture. It is time for Britain to get out from under this doomed structure before we are crushed by the wreckage.